5/17/11. Joel Rose. A return interview with Joel Rose, Co-Chair of Citizens Against Casino Gambling in Erie County (CACGEC) and Chair of the Coalition Against Gambling in NY (CAGNY). Joel spoke about the case of Arelia Taveras, who had risen from an immigrant background to become a successful NY lawyer. She grew involved in gambling in Atlantic City casinos and was eventually seriously addicted. She depleted her own resources and began to steal from her clients to continue gambling. Her losses increased, and eventually she was caught, tried and imprisoned. She has recently been released on parole. Her case is unusual in that, while she has accepted personal responsibility and is now seeking to pay back her debts, she also sued the casinos in 2008 for their role in causing and encouraging her addiction. Although she lost the case, this may be the beginning of efforts to force casinos and other gambling businesses to take their share of responsibility for promoting the gambling addiction that they actually profit from. Joel Rose point out that 75% of gambling addicts eventually turn to crime, and about half of the profits of casinos come from problem and compulsive gamblers. So casinos are actually profiting from crime, yet are never held responsible or prosecuted. We talked about the many ways that casinos and other forms of gambling (including State lotteries) encourage, and profit from, addiction. We need to become aware of these practices and to hold the gambling industries accountable.
We hope to interview Arelia Taveras on Conversations about Gambling later this year.